Jesse's Purple Reign

Jesse's Purple Reign

In the realm of art emerges multidisciplinary talent. Jesse Josh Goje, a highly skilled visual artist, captivates the world with his boundless passion for the ancient Nok civilization and his unyielding dedication to celebrating black heritage. With each brushstroke, Jesse transports us to a realm where history, culture, and artistic ingenuity converge in a symphony of vibrant colours and textured masterpieces.

From the tender age of 8, Jesse's artistic journey began, fueled by a desire to express thoughts and emotions through sketching on his father's A4 office papers. He embarked on a path that would forever shape his destiny. During those early years, surrounded by like-minded schoolmates who shared his artistic prowess, Jesse discovered the power of collaboration and the beauty of exchanging drawings and comics.

Jesse's artistic style is a testament to his multidisciplinary approach. He weaves together elements of the past, present, and future, seamlessly merging ancestral roots with contemporary visions. Through his work, he endeavours to fuse the essence of his traditional background with textures reminiscent of the rough surfaces adorning the original Nok terracotta sculptures. With the impasto method as his brush-wielding accomplice, he sculpts textured backgrounds, invoking a tactile experience that transcends mere visual appreciation.

Immersing himself in a palette of vibrant purples, Jesse harnesses the divinity of this regal hue to unveil the possibility within every human being. For him, purple is not just a colour but an ethereal gateway to the boundless realms of spiritual awakening. It speaks of unity, transcending the confines of race and enveloping all in its vivid embrace. In Jesse's hands, the vitality of purple breathes life into the skin tones of his subjects, an artistic testament to the oneness that connects us all.

But Jesse's art is not solely concerned with aesthetics; it delves deep into profound themes that resonate with the human experience. One such theme is the "Purple Age," an age of heightened awareness and spiritual awakening. It is a phase of self-discovery where individuals uncover the invisible threads linking their present selves to their future destinies. Jesse implores us to embrace our collective culture within this cosmic narrative, preserving and cherishing it as a testament to our shared heritage. His artistic journey takes on even greater significance as he traces his lineage back to the original Nok artists, the pioneers of civilization in sub-Saharan Africa. The weight of this ancestral connection fuels Jesse's artistic fire, propelling him to illuminate the world with the profound beauty of his craft.

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Like the artists before him, Jesse draws inspiration from visionaries who have left an indelible mark on the art world. Among them, Brandon Marshall from Memphis stands as a guiding light, opening Jesse's mind to the secrets of art and propelling his career forward. In the realm of influence, artists such as Mike Dragas, Damien Hirst, Basquiat, and Banksy weave their threads into the rich tapestry of Jesse's artistic expression, guiding his brush with their visionary impact.

Jesse's creative process dances between meticulous planning and the freedom of spontaneous creation. While he meticulously plans his budget, he understands that true artistic magic often emerges when spontaneity and intuition take the reins. Jesse's art becomes an ethereal expression of his thoughts and emotions in these moments.

But Jesse's artistic impact extends beyond the canvas; it reverberates through society, leaving an indelible mark on the art world and the community he holds dear. His work has graced iconic landmarks like the Murtala Square in Kaduna State, the Kawo Bridge, and the Levintis Underpass through collaborations with renowned artists. His artistic brilliance has even been immortalized on the label of the esteemed Orijin drink. But Jesse's true legacy lies in the lives he has touched, the youth he has nurtured through art education, and the inspiration he ignites in others.

Yet, like any artist, Jesse faces his share of challenges along this extraordinary journey. Acquiring art materials often becomes a hurdle as he strives to create within deadlines and deliver to the best of his abilities. Living in Kaduna, he must navigate the scarcity of affordable supplies, relying on the one art shop that houses quality materials, albeit at exorbitant prices. The quest for adequate storage for his larger-than-life creations presents yet another obstacle. Dreams of creating monumental pieces, reaching towering heights of 20 feet or more, require resources beyond his current means. But Jesse's spirit remains unbreakable, and he confronts these challenges head-on, channelling his determination to overcome any limitations in his artistic vision.

Among Jesse's captivating series is the mesmerizing "Afro Money Trees." In this collection, he ingeniously intertwines the symbolism of hair with the majesty of trees, signifying our deep-rooted connections to our ancestry. Instead of leaves falling from these enchanted trees, money cascades like a testament to the idea that abundance is attainable when one's mind and work are firmly grounded in heritage, propelled forward by the unwavering step of progress. It is a series that breathes life into the descendants of the ancient Nok civilization, embodying their power and resilience. And within the vast realm of the "Purple Age," this series continues to evolve, radiating its significance to Jesse and the world around him.

In the realm of artistic creation, time is a precious currency. Jesse recognizes the value of every moment, skillfully balancing commissioned work with personal projects. By honouring his commitments and delivering his creations punctually, he exemplifies professionalism. And within the tapestry of his artistic existence, Jesse finds solace and inspiration through meditation and introspection. Positive affirmations and words of encouragement become his guiding light, empowering him to delve deep within himself, expressing gratitude to a higher power for the gift of creativity and the boundless beauty of art.

Jesse's artistic endeavours are not confined solely to aesthetic expression; his works breathe life into critical social causes. Through the generous support of Cam Ford, he received a grant that allowed him to create a powerful piece centred on religious indifference and peaceful coexistence. This profound work resonated deeply within the hearts of the people of Kaduna, offering hope and fostering dialogue and understanding. Furthermore, Jesse used his artistry to address the pressing issue of killings in southern Kaduna, shedding light on a poignant subject and driving conversations that contribute to positive change.

North in Peace by Jesse Josh Goje for CAFOD’s Peace and Conflict Resolution Exhibition 2019

In the ever-changing landscape of artistic creation, Jesse Josh Goje stands tall as an exemplary figure, a visionary artist whose passion and commitment know no bounds. His journey illuminates the path for aspiring artists, providing a beacon of hope and inspiration to keep creating and dedicating countless hours to pursuing their dreams.

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